Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 126: Couples Skate

Once again, my friend Lisa took one for the blog team on Day 126 when I begged her to go ice skating with me. I begged a lot of people. She was the only one who agreed.

For that, I felt badly.

I felt extra badly since she had just returned from a week in St. Maarten. She went from sipping fruity cocktails on a white sandy beach to dodging snotty nose kids on an ice-skating rink.

Actually, that’s exactly the reason why I don’t feel sorry for her. She went to a tropical island and I didn’t get to go. She should suffer.

When I told Lisa I wanted to go to Centennial Olympic Park to skate, she said, “You’ve never ice-skated?”

And again, the answer is, “No.” Not that I can remember anyway.

I’m from South Carolina. The only skating we ever did was at roller skating birthday parties at Carolina Skateland. I tagged along for a couple of Friday night skating outings with my friend Danielle, who was a regular, but I must confess, there was little skating going on and a lot more other questionable behavior.

My brother and I vaguely remember driving to Charlotte, North Carolina with our neighbors to ice skate once, but I don’t remember much about it. So we’ll make Day 126’s thing I’ve never done before to ice skate as an adult.

We met downtown and walked over to the rink on a cold, but sunny Sunday afternoon. I don’t know if my socks weren’t thick enough, or if I have bad circulation in general, but my feet were numb before we even put our skates on. The skates were rentals, obviously, and not in the best condition, as demonstrated by this photograph. Think Fisher-Price, "My First Ice-Skates."

The place was a disaster, full of kids of all ages; some clutching their parents’ hands or pants’ legs, others whizzing by me turning quickly and sharply. Shocking to me, and Lisa too, I’m sure, I managed to stay on my feet and didn’t fall once. Unfortunately, though, I never was able to get going either. I just sort of shuffled my feet along the rink and through the ice shavings.

“Life is a highway,” by Tom Cochrane was blasting on the stereo and I was getting lapped by Lisa and all of the other kiddos. So much for a triple salchow or other fancy tricks, I just needed speed.

Lisa said the rink was in terrible condition (again, first she’s an expert on goats at the Christmas Tree farm, now ice-skating rinks). She said it needed the attention of a Zamboni. Her suggestion made us both think that we need to find someone with connections to a Zamboni that would let me go for a ride as something I’ve never done before.

I considered asking Lisa to give me a little push so that I could get going, Olympic Couples Skate style, but that was a line that neither she nor I wanted to cross. So she skated and I shuffled. The entire experience from start to finish lasted about an hour.

Once “Barbie Girl,” started playing...that was our cue to get the hell out of there. From the music, to the kids, to the multiple wipeouts going on all around me, I couldn’t help but be taken back to the old days of Carolina Skateland, minus the social awkwardness, questionable behavior and feeling unsure of myself. Wait, all of those things were present this time around as well.

Good times.


  1. When I was in the 3rd grade I took figure skating lessons, had the skates, outfit and everything. I was going to be the next Nancy Kerrigan...then I moved and T-Town didn't have an ice rink! :( Glad you gave it a shot.

  2. If you would have told me you were going I would have grabbed Fluffy and we could have come down and bet on which kid would fall first. So much fun.